Cornell University College Of Arts And Sciences Acceptance Rate

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Cornell University was founded in 1865. They’ve been around for longer than most people’s lifetimes, so you might think that their acceptance rate would be pretty low by now. Well, it is. In 2017, the university had an acceptance rate of just under 9 percent, making it one of the most selective colleges and universities in the country.

Collegelearners will provide you with all the relevant information you are looking for on cornell arts and sciences requirements, cornell arts and sciences courses, cornell arts and sciences internal transfer, and so much more.

Cornell University

University Overview

Founded in 1865, Cornell University is a non-profit private higher-education institution located in the urban setting of the large town of Ithaca (population range of 10,000-49,999 inhabitants), New York. Officially accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Cornell University is a large (uniRank enrollment range: 20,000-24,999 students) coeducational US higher education institution. Cornell University offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees such as pre-bachelor degrees (i.e. certificates, diplomas, associate or foundation), bachelor degrees, master degrees, doctorate degrees in several areas of study. See the uniRank degree levels and areas of study matrix below for further details. This 155 years old US higher-education institution has a selective admission policy based on students’ past academic record and grades. The admission rate range is 10-20% making this US higher education organization a most selective institution. International students are welcome to apply for enrollment. Cornell University also provides several academic and non-academic facilities and services to students including a library, housing, sports facilities, financial aids and/or scholarships, study abroad and exchange programs, online courses and distance learning opportunities, as well as administrative services.

country rank 5
world rank 5

Cornell’s Early Decision Acceptance Rate Increases to 23.8 Percent for Class of 2024

For the first time in four years, Cornell’s early decision acceptance rate increased for the Class of 2024.

Cornell admitted 1,576 out of 6,615 early decision applicants, or 23.8 percent, a slight increase from last year’s 22.6 percent acceptance rate for the Class of 2023, according to University statistics provided to The Sun. The early decision acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 was 24.4 percent.

Cornell Class of 2023 Sees Increased Diversity Rate in Admitted Students,  Higher Acceptance Rate | The Cornell Daily Sun

Of the accepted students, 51.6 percent are women — a four percent decrease from last year. Students of color comprise 39.7 percent of admitted students, a similar figure to the percentage of students of color admitted early for the Class of 2023. Early decision applications from underrepresented minorities also increased by 11 percent.

Legacy students — whom the University recommends applying early decision — constitute 22.1 percent of the class, the same as last year. Athletes are 12.1 percent of the admitted class, a 1.4 percent decrease from last year.

ACross the ivies

According to the press release, early decision applications for the Class of 2024 rose by 7.4 percent when compared to the Class of 2023 and 4.6 percent over the Class of 2022. The University received the highest number of early decision applications in its history for this year’s admissions cycle. Over the decade, early decision applications to the University has increased by 90 percent.Compared to last year, the percentage for international students admitted early decision also rose, with international students composing 13.6 percent of early admits.

Students who received news of their admission to Cornell on Thursday night were elated. One student wrote, “So happy to say I’m a Cornellian!”

Parents and Cornell’s schools also expressed their excitement with the admissions decisions. On Twitter, a parent wrote of their daughter’s acceptance into the Dyson School of Applied Economics, accompanied with a video of her viewing her acceptance letter.

Among all applicants, 21.7 percent were deferred, moving their applications into the regular decision admissions cycle. This is the lowest percentage of deferred students in the past three years as 24.3 percent of early applicants were deferred for the Class of 2023 and 22.9 percent for the Class of 2022.

Out of the Ivy League schools which have released their early decision acceptance statistics, Cornell has the highest early admissions acceptance rate. Harvard University’s early acceptance rate increased to 13.9 percent, while Brown University reached a record-low early acceptance rate of 17.5 percent.

Although Princeton University, Columbia University and Dartmouth University notified applicants on Dec. 12, the universities have not published their acceptance rates. Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania will release their early notifications on Dec. 16.

How to Get Into Cornell: Admissions Data and Strategies

The University’s target enrollment for this fall is 3,215, marking the early decision admits as 49 percent of the likely class of 2024. The overall acceptance rate will be published in April, after Cornell notifies regular decision applicants on March 26.

University Identity

NameCornell University
MottoI would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study. Ezra Cornell, 1865
ColoursCarnelian and white

University Location

Address300 Day Hall
14853 New York
United States
Tel+1 (607) 255 2000
Fax+1 (607) 255 5396

cornell university college of arts and sciences acceptance rate

Admissions. Admission into the college is extremely competitive. The undergraduate program’s 7.9% acceptance rate is below Cornell’s 8.7% overall undergraduate acceptance rate.

Cornell University Acceptance rate and Admissions statistics

Acceptance Rate11%9%12%
Freshmen enrolled full time3,1891,4371,752

852 students enrolled in some distance education courses.

123 enrolled exclusively in distance education.

Cornell University Acceptance Rate

cornell arts and sciences requirements

Undergraduate Admissions

As a student in the College of Arts & Sciences, you will live at the center of an academic community that is constantly generating new ideas. You will learn from excellent teachers who will challenge you to expand your imagination, while you sharpen your critical and creative responses to all encounters. And you will join a group of impressive, independent and diverse thinkers, who will help you forge your own path to discovery and transformation.

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements:

As you prepare to apply to the College of Arts & Sciences, please review the following requirements for First-Year Students:

A&S requires the following High School Coursework:

  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of Mathematics
  • 3 units of Science
  • 3 units of one foreign language OR completion of at least the third level of a foreign language sequence (e.g., Spanish 3). N.B. It is our strong preference that students complete 3 units of one foreign language during high school, however, students who have initiated a foreign language sequence before high school or who have heritage language skills that allow them to place directly into a higher level course will have met our minimum requirement by completing at least the third level of a foreign language sequence (e.g., Spanish 3).
  • Also recommended, an additional unit of advanced mathematics and science.

In addition to the Common Application (CA), A&S requires the following Application Materials:

  • Official Secondary/High School Transcript followed by a Mid-Year Report when it becomes available
  • Counselor Recommendation and School Report
  • 2 Teacher Evaluations
  • Test Scores:
    • The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led Cornell University to continue its suspension of the SAT/ACT testing requirement for applicants seeking to enroll as first-years beginning in August 2022. For the College of Arts & Sciences, the submission of SAT/ACT test results is optional for both Early Decision and Regular Decision. For more information, please consult the webpage for the Undergraduate Admissions Office.
    • International students: You may be asked to submit results from an English language proficiency exam.
  • Cornell Writing Supplement 
  • $80 application fee or Fee Waiver.

Supplemental Materials

Undergraduate applicants to the College of Arts & Sciences who believe that their musical abilities will enhance their application (regardless of their intended major) are encouraged to supplement their applications with music recordings. All recordings must be electronic, no longer than 10 minutes in length, and highlight the applicant. All recordings submitted through the Department of Music’s online portal are evaluated by Cornell faculty for our Admissions Committee.

With the exception of musical recordings, the College of Arts & Sciences does not review art portfolios, films, creative writing samples, academic papers, or other supplemental materials provided outside the parameters of the Common Application.


The College of Arts & Sciences does not require, nor offer, on campus interviews. Due to the high volume of applications we receive each year, we are unable to extend an interview to every candidate and thus, in the interest of fairness and equity, interviews are not part of our Admissions process. To learn about the university and our programs, we encourage you explore Cornell’s Virtual Visit information, watch our 4-part virtual information session, meet some of our most recent graduates, and explore our academic departments.

First-year applicants may be contacted by an alumnus/a volunteer in their local area to schedule a time to talk about Cornell. This informal conversation is not required, and is offered as an additional way for applicants to discover Cornell and ask questions. Due to time, geographic, and volunteer constraints, not all applicants will be contacted; please be assured that applications are not adversely impacted if an applicant is not contacted by an alumnus/a volunteer.

Have additional questions about undergraduate admissions?

Explore the Undergraduate Admissions Office FAQs.

If you have questions about student life at Cornell, you can ask a current Arts & Sciences Cornell student about academics, clubs and activities, or life in Ithaca.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, you can sign up here.

Transfer Admissions

We’re happy to know that you’re considering a transfer to Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences.

Since you’re interested in Cornell, we know that you’ve most likely taken a broad and challenging liberal arts curriculum during the year or more that you’ve spent at your current college or university. We know that you’ve already taken many courses, which could include writing, foreign languages, science, quantitative reasoning, social sciences and humanities. We can help you build on that educational foundation here. We are happy to review applications from students who have attended community colleges as well as other colleges and universities, and welcome international transfer students, as well.

Learn More About Transferring to Cornell and Apply Now

Transfer Option: If you previously applied to the College of Arts & Sciences and received a Transfer Option, please refer to your Application Status Page for further information and for directions on how to apply with your Transfer Option. Please note that we are unable to provide 1-on-1 evaluations or approvals of first-year coursework planned elsewhere; successful applicants will receive a complete credit evaluation when admitted. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Internal Transfer: Current Cornell students interested in transferring into the College of Arts & Sciences should refer to our Internal Transfer webpage.

Undergraduate transfer admissions requirements

While most of the information you’ll need to know can be found at the link above, here are some facts that are specific to our College:

  • You will need to complete a minimum of 60 credits at Cornell and four semesters in residency in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • We accept fall or spring transfers but don’t offer interviews.
  • If you wish to transfer to the College of Arts & Sciences as a junior, you need to have fulfilled the prerequisite coursework for your intended major. Information on major prerequisites and requirements can be found in Cornell’s Courses of Study
  • For more information on transfer credits, see Transferring Credits

Have questions about transfer admissions?

Please email us at [email protected].

Graduate Admissions

From cutting-edge research in theoretical physics to in-depth studies of global issues, as a graduate student working in the College of Arts & Sciences you will have access to prize-winning faculty who are pioneers in their fields and fellow students who are top researchers from around the world.

You’ll be treated as a colleague in the pursuit of knowledge and join the culture of collaboration that permeates the College and creates multiple opportunities for interdisciplinary research and area studies.

If you are interested in learning more about graduate study opportunities in Arts & Sciences, we encourage you to explore our graduate fields, the College’s departments and programs, as well as the website of Graduate School at Cornell University.

Course Enrollment

As you prepare for your journey through the College of Arts & Sciences, many tools are available to help you navigate the 2,000 courses offered by the College, as well as 2,000 additional courses in the six professional and applied colleges at Cornell.

There are two main tools you’ll use as you enroll in classes:

  • Courses of Study website can help you plan your four years of study. It represents Cornell’s full catalog of courses and is published annually.
  • Class Roster website offers a robust search engine that allows you to explore classes by subject, class year, college, time offered, instructor, credits and other categories.

Since 2/3 of your coursework will be outside your major, the College encourages you to explore topics that interest you — whether that be the study of Japanese or JavaScript. If you take advantage of the incredible academic diversity and dynamic mix of theoretical and applied studies offered at Cornell, you’ll enrich your life in ways you might not be able to imagine.

Choosing Your Courses

To help you choose your courses, we’ve created the following “cheat sheet” of important information. Be sure to have it handy as you put together your schedule.

  • To receive an Arts & Sciences degree, you will need to fulfill all of the degree requirements listed in the Courses of Study. The distribution requirements page can help you keep track of the courses you need to take. The Courses of Study helps you know what you need to do to fulfill your degree, while is the tool you’ll use to sign up for classes.
  • Some important abbreviations to know when using both tools:
    • Distribution abbreviations for students who matriculated at Cornell prior to Fall 2020:
      • Physical and Biological Sciences (PBS)
      • Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (MQR)
      • Cultural Analysis (CA-AS)
      • Historical Analysis (HA-AS)
      • Knowledge Cognition and Moral Reasoning (KCM-AS)
      • Literature and the Arts (LA-AS)
      • Social and Behavioral Analysis (SBA-AS).
    • Distribution abbreviations for students who matriculated in Fall 2020 and later:
      • Arts, Literature, and Culture (ALC-AS)
      • Biological Sciences (BIO-AS)
      • Ethics and the Mind (ETM-AS)
      • Global Citizenship (GLC-AS)
      • Historical Analysis (HST-AS)
      • Physical Sciences (PHS-AS)
      • Social Difference (SCD-AS)
      • Social Sciences (SSC-AS)
      • Statistics and Data Science (SDS-AS)  
      • Symbolic and Mathematical Reasoning (SMR-AS)  
    • Remember, if the designation doesn’t include “-AS” then the course will not fulfill a distribution requirement for the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Not all courses offered at Cornell count for credit within the College of Arts & Sciences. Be sure to check this list of courses that won’t count toward your degree or the 12 academic credits required for good academic standing.
  • Because some courses have overlapping content, they cannot both be counted toward your degree. Check this list of overlapping courses before you enroll in courses.
  • When available, you may elect the S/U option provided that such courses do not also count toward major requirements or serve as prerequisites for admission to the major. Courses taken with the S/U option can be used to fulfill college distribution requirements. 
  • To help you round out your schedule, you can search for one- and two-credit courses in the class roster.
  • You can monitor your progress toward degree completion by checking your DUST (Distributed Undergraduate Student Tracking) report here. The DUST report is updated after each semester to reflect your progress toward completing college requirements.

Adding and Dropping Courses

After the pre-enrollment period, you may not adjust your schedule until just prior to the new semester start during the general add/drop period. Both the university and college provide calendars with key academic dates for add, drop and withdrawal deadlines each semester. It is your responsibility as the student to be aware of and abide by these deadlines.

  • Adding a regular term course can be done during the first 15 calendar days of the semester (with the exception of specific courses with special deadlines).
  • Dropping a regular term course can be done in the first 57 days of the semester, if no issue of academic integrity is at stake. Dropping a course removes it from the academic transcript.
  • Deadlines for short courses will be adjusted according to the length of the courses.
  • After the 57th day, and by the withdrawal deadline (which is published each term in the college academic calendar), you may petition the college to withdraw from a course, if no issue of academic integrity is at stake. Courses officially withdrawn after the 57th day will be noted on the transcript with a “W” where the grade would normally appear. This is a matter of record and cannot be petitioned. Petitions to withdraw from courses may not be submitted after the published deadlines, except in exceptional circumstances.

Note: a student who has been charged with violating the Code of Academic Integrity in a course may not drop that course without the express written permission of the course instructor(s) unless the student has been cleared of the charges.

The effective date of all course changes will be the day the student submits all necessary and completed paperwork to the A&S Registrar’s Office.

How To Get Into Cornell University - Your Guide To Ivy League Admissions |  Powerful Prep

Choosing a Major/Minor

As you begin your studies in the College of Arts & Sciences, we encourage you to take time to sample courses from our 40 majors, then discover what you love and dive in. It’s one of the benefits of a liberal arts education. If you need help as you consider your major, schedule an appointment with your advising dean or a career counselor in Career Development to talk about your interests and how they can translate into a major and a future career.

Most students declare a major during or at the end of the second semester of their sophomore year. Students entering their junior year without a major is considered not making progress towards their degree.

Applying for a Major

Apply for a major as soon as you have completed the prerequisites for the major, which may be as early as the end of your first year. Consult the appropriate department website for information regarding prerequisites and application guidelines. Some majors allow you to submit an online application but others may not. You may be required to meet the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) to discuss your interest in the major and complete the application with them.

If you cannot enter a major by the end of your sophomore year, meet with your advising dean to review your options. You will be required to complete the Late Declaration of Major form.

Adding a Second or Third Major

Some students have diverse intellectual or career interests that span academic disciplines and therefore consider pursuing a second or third major. If you are interested in a second or third major, consult with your faculty advisor and advising dean. Sometimes you can pursue your interests with a minor or by designing a unique course of study with electives rather than completing additional major/s. 

If you decide to add another major, it must be within the College of Arts & Sciences unless you apply to the Concurrent Degree Program.

Second or third majors can be added in your junior or even senior year, but you should apply as soon as possible to give yourself time to complete the additional requirements. To apply to a second or third major, follow the same steps outlined above.

How to Get Into Cornell University: The Definitive Guide — Shemmassian  Academic Consulting

Concurrent Degree

You can pursue majors in other colleges by applying to the five-year Concurrent Degree Program. Arts & Sciences offers concurrent degrees with the College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Art & Planning.

To begin the application process, schedule an appointment with Richard Keller.

Adding a Minor

A minor is a secondary area of interest in which you complete 15-18 credits. It is not necessary to have a minor, but minors can allow you to group some related electives together in a meaningful way. Many minors in other undergraduate colleges are open to Arts & Sciences students. Consult the list of available minors. To add a minor, contact the office for your desired minor to find out the process for adding the minor.

Dropping a Major or Minor

To drop a major or a minor, contact the undergraduate coordinator or the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) in the major or minor you wish to drop.

Pre-health and Pre-law

There are no specific required or recommended majors for students interested in pursing a career in the health or legal professions. Therefore, you are encouraged to choose a major based on your interests. Pre-health students should refer to Pre-Health Resources and pre-law students should consult with  A&S Career Development.


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